By: Kayhan Int’l Staff Writer
Piracy never goes unpunished, even if the British buccaneers or corsairs or whatever you call those who continue to hide in the occupied Spanish territory of Gibraltar with the stolen super tanker "Grace I” and its cargo of two million-plus barrels of Iranian crude oil, think they are safe from justice.
No, Friday’s detention of the British tanker "Stena Impero” in the Strait of Hormuz by the Iranian coastal guards was not a form of punishment for the regime in London or a reprisal for its act of maritime terrorism on the high seas in the hijacking of "Grace I”.
It is merely the case of a vessel violating international navigation rules and causing insecurity in the vital waterway through which a third of the world’s oil supplies flow, after it rammed into a fishing trawler and tried to flee by ignoring warnings from the Iranian navy which is responsible for ensuring the safety of sea traffic in this part of the Persian Gulf.
"Steno Impero”, however, couldn’t escape the ever-alert law-enforcement authorities of the area, and when it tried to call the British frigate "Montrose” for help, the Iranian coastal guards warned the intruding warship of the dire consequences of meddling, and after boarding the lawless tanker (as confirmed by the footage released) steered it to the port of Bandar Abbas, where the judicial officials are investigating the case.
Iran’s judiciary is known for its fairness, as was evident by its prompt release of another British tanker "Mesdar” that had been guided to Bandar Abbas for due inspection, which means whatever verdict it will announce in the case of "Steno Impero” after thorough investigation, will be just and deserving.
It is unlike the kangaroo court of the British occupiers of Gibraltar which extended the illegal detention of "Grace I” by a month after expiry of the initial fortnight forcible berthing order on the absurd charge that the Iranian crude was destined for Syria – a country under European Union sanctions for thwarting the terrorist bid to overthrow the legal government of President Bashar al-Assad.
As Carl Bildt, the former Swedish prime minister and co-chair of the European council on foreign relations, has said by pinpointing the ambiguities of the British action in Gibraltar: "The legality of the UK seizure of a tanker heading for Syria with oil from Iran intrigues me. One refers to EU sanctions against Syria, but Iran is not a member of the EU. And the EU as a principle doesn’t impose its sanctions on others. That’s what the US does.”
In view of these facts, the British regime, whose days of colonial terrorism are long past, is advised to stop its squealing and the rubbish talk of retaliation against the Islamic Republic of Iran, when the whole world knows that London cannot do anything except to drop its lip service of support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and overtly side with the thuggish US administration of Donald Trump in its vain bid to browbeat Iran into submission.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has correctly summed up the situation in his Saturday’s tweet from Caracas, Venezuela, where he is attending a meeting of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM):
"Unlike the piracy in the Strait of Gibraltar, our action in the Persian Gulf is to uphold international maritime rules. As I said in New York (at the UN HQ), it is IRAN that guarantees the security of the Persian Gulf & the Strait of Hormuz. The UK must cease being an accessory to the Economic Terrorism of the US.”
As for the case of "Grace I” and the punishment for the British terrorists who hijacked it and continue to illegally hold it, justice will reach them sooner or later, irrespective of the ruling of the Iranian judiciary for the law-breaking British tanker "Steno Impero”.